China, the Philippines and claims of damaged coral reefs: An environmental issue or something more?

In 1951, the Philippines and the US ratified a Mutual Defense Agreement, under which they agreed to support one another in the function of an armed attack.

But, Assoc Prof. Araral noted that even if the Philippines invokes the agreement, it does not always mean that the US will start to fight China.

In reality, the agreement is a method to de-escalate any pressure between the Philippines and China, he noted.

According to Assoc Prof. Araral, any incident may be reported to the UN Security Council in accordance with the agreement. Finally, the conflict will be resolved and de-escalated.

Because there are mechanisms in place for conflict resolution, he said,” It’s not an automated button” for the United States to begin confronting China.

He noted that China does not want the US’ role, but that the Philippines wants to because it is a smaller nation competing against an Asiatic giant.

” That is where we are … &nbsp, a stalemate, but I do n’t think it’s in anyone’s interest to escalate the conflict further”, he said. &nbsp,